Prima Donna

Doctor Who: Partners in Crime
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I would like to thank Catherine Tate for making me look forward to a series of Doctor Who, which I can’t, in all honesty, say I that have since 2005. I enjoyed her first appearance in The Runaway Bride and I wasn’t disappointed with her turn in Partners in Crime either. After just two episodes she is fast becoming one of my favourite companions of all time!

I loved the mime sequence between the Doctor and Donna, which does seem to be an element that a lot of people can’t stand, but the wife and me were laughing our heads off at it! You can’t imagine that working between any other Doctor/Companion team really and I believe that it worked, and was a very memorable scene for the right reasons, not that many people would agree with me.

It was amusing that they kept missing each other at the start of the episode too. It was almost farce like with one of them walking past a door that the other one would walk through seconds later, which I personally don’t think is a bad thing at all. Others may disagree but that’s just me. I thought that they probably did get away with that a bit longer than they needed to but it was fun to watch so what the hell!

I also loved the fact that Donna didn’t fawn over the Doctor, and look all gooey eyed at him and tell him how brilliant he is, because he does that himself more than enough! It also made me laugh when she presented the Doctor with suitcases, hatboxes and more suitcases, only a woman would need to travel with so much luggage! I bet one of those suitcases was full of shoes. At least Donna is going to prepared and will not be in a situation where she doesn’t have the right outfit for any given situation, and will not have to wear totally inappropriate clothing like the majority of her female predecessors did.

I would have to say that Donna is quite the opposite to the previous two companions which is a breath of fresh air and gives the Doctor/Companion team a brand new dynamic that we haven’t seen in the last four series, that of a couple of good mates travelling and having adventures together. The moment when she thought that the Doctor wanted her for his mate, even though he meant that he was just wanted a friend, was hilarious.

Some people thought that Catherine Tate would shout her way through the series but here she only shouted on a couple of occasions: once was when she was hanging in the air scared out of her wits and once later when she thought that the Doctor was coming on to her. I wouldn’t call that shouting her way through the episode at all. Tennant often shouts more than that and people don’t have a problem with that and at least Catherine Tate isn’t shouting to make herself sound bigger and more important.

There was a lot of comedy in this episode but Tate also showed the other side of her acting talents in a couple of really well written, beautifully acted scenes between Donna and her granddad, Wilf (played by the excellent Bernard Cribbins) who she can confide in, unlike her mother, who just seems to think that she’s gets in the way and should be doing this or that and not whatever it is they are doing at the time although isn’t that just mothers in general?

The campfire scene between Donna and her granddad was the best of these scenes (which appeared in the cinema trailer that is currently on interactive via the red button). It is small intimate scenes like that one that the new series are so good at and are also the scenes that a lot of Doctor who fans don’t seem to like very much, which I just don’t understand.

The episode was a lot of fun though, but it does have to be said, that there wasn’t really much a plot involved but that just didn’t matter as Tennant and Tate bounced off each other so well, that you forgot that there wasn’t much going on. Well, I did anyway.

The basic plot was very similar to one of the Torchwood novels (Slow Decay) but it was done in a much less graphic way than in that novel. I mean in that one, the people taking the so called wonder diet pill, ended up eating other humans, and then eat away at their own flesh, whereas in this one their unwanted fat turns into cute little blobby creatures called The Adipose, which in retrospect is far more appealing than the former.

The Adipose were very cute and if they don’t release a stress busting toy, or even just a cuddly version, then they are really missing something. My wife would buy one and I would quite like one for my desk.

Sarah Lancashire was quite good in the role of the main villain of the piece, Miss Foster even though she wasn’t actually that bad in the end, rather, as they said in the episode a sort of galactic Supernanny. Now I didn’t really notice, until it was mentioned in the confidential after the episode that Miss Foster actually dresses the same way that the Supernanny on telly does: smart black suit with matching glasses. Having said that I don’t watch Supernanny so I think I can forgive myself for failing to notice that.

I guess you could say that the fact that there was no seemingly real threat in the episode was a bad thing but I do have to say, that that fact did not diminish my enjoyment of the episode; in fact I paid it little attention at all.

Partners In Crime was a good start to what looks like it will be a highly enjoyable series, it won’t come top in any season polls and be remembered as a classic Doctor Who episode, but I enjoyed it immensely!

1 comment

  1. Adam you said:
    “After just two episodes she is fast becoming one of my favourite companions of all time!”

    I wouldn’t go that far – yet – but she was very good in this episode, and it’s nice that we have a new Doctor/companion dynamic (actually, we’ve had that every year for four years now, but it’s still nice, and this time it’s quite radical.)

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